First time, 12 steps

Dylan Kerr Addiction thailand036.jpg
Si Racha, A city on the Eastern Seaboard in Thailand. This shot was taken from what clients began to know as “Hope Hill” (although it was more of a mountain)

I arrived in Thailand for the first time in 2014.  I had fantasized many a time of plans to visit Thailand for a Holiday since spending time in Malaysia with family, but such is life that it never happened.

A few months prior to this move I was chatting with a former colleague of mine about what to do regarding my future and career. All I ever heard of in the UK was cuts, cuts and more cuts.   Almost every single service I had worked for previously had been downsized, spread thin or been completely wiped off the map.   Lamenting over this I spoke with my former colleague and friend,  she told me “Just leave the UK. Don’t limit yourself, there are hundreds of treatment programs world-wide, try Asia or South Africa.”

I thought to myself,  “Yeah, that’d be great but….”

I paused.  Hmmm,  I wondered,  is adding a “yeah but” to my statement a real valid statement or am I infact experiencing a self-limiting child-like ego state?

Could I really make it out there in the big wide world?

Theoretically speaking? Absolutely!

Emotionally reasoning? Hmmm, 50-50

But it’s good thing that emotional states aren’t reality always. Knowing this I dared to challenge this self-limiting belief and move forward with my career.

A few things happened a long the way but I was introduced to Simon Mott.

Simon  Mott was the former head counselor of the Cabin, he told me about a new rehab in Thailand that was going to focus on a robust regiment of therapy, physical activity and community.  I really liked the idea,   Simon outlined to me his own experiences of recovery and what lead him to make fundamental changes to save his own life – and also make a success of it!

Hope Rehab Center was 12 Steps focused. This was going to be my first experience of working as a therapist using the 12 steps as the core of the program.  My own experiences of 12 steps have been fond, on a personal note I think it’s very useful program for anyone struggling with their drug and alcohol problems to consider.  However, I do have some reservations about the process.

One thing that was very refreshing is that although the core of the program is 12-steps, the overall program had lot more bolted on to it. Mindfulness, CBT, Pyscho-educational, physical therapy and an assortment of holistic therapies.

Hope Rehab Thailand was certainly like a dream come true as far as rehabs go.  It was probably everything I had ever wanted to include in a rehab, the workbook was concise and thorough, it served as the backbone to the treatment provided in the center.

I was fortunate enough to be the head counselor at Hope Rehab, I worked mostly directly under Simon Mott.  Simon’s ability to run a service was second to none,   he able to combine his in-depth knowledge of addiction with his own personal experiences.  This marrying of the two aspects of working in the field can yield some golden results. The upshot for the clients was a sterling service that far surpassed any service I had previously delivered in the UK.

The work wasn’t easy.

When I first arrived at Hope it had barely been running two months.  The staff consisted of a skeleton crew who had to really work very hard to accomplish running a program.  These were humble and shaky begins. Simon Mott had invested all his own personal money into the organization, the idea and ethos of Hope Rehab was to run a low-cost rehab giving a life changing experience for addicts, as a means of helping those still suffering.  This meant working very long hours, but I was robust to this, I really didn’t mind. I enjoyed watching Hope grow from month to month, all the counselors of my time did a sterling job at meeting the complex needs of addicts in treatment.

It was during this time of working for Hope Rehab Center Thailand that I first met the Libertines.  I was employed then as the on tour counselor for the band.

I have fond memories of Hope and I really believe that the program there was something special. I hear they have gone from strength to strength over the months since leaving and I wish them all the best in the future.


I have since returned to Thailand but I now for Lanna Rehab



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